Vampire’s Fall comes to the Nintendo Switch! Did it fix the problems it had on the PC version?
Developer: Early Morning Studio
Publisher: Early Morning Studio
Release Date: 17 Sep, 2020
Vampire’s Fall: Origins is a RPG, previously reviewed for PC by Maxmetpt, that takes inspiration by many different games, mainly the old-school Diablo and Final Fantasy. While exploration happens real-time on a quite big and freely explorable world-map, the game uses 1v1 turn-based battles for combat, with some twists. A nightmarish army commanded with a vampire lord is marching south, destroying the major cities it encounters. You just enrolled in the guard of a small village, with the hope that such an army won’t be bothered to touch such a small target. But when the vampire lord comes and you lose the fight against him, something happens to you…
Do It Because You Need to
Let’s start this review by talking about the story: in Vampire’s Fall it exists only to give a purpose to the player’s actions and it never really evolves into something complex or even appreciable. The witch king destroys cities with its army because he’s the evil guy. You need to kill him because… you feel the need to. The world in which the story takes place suffers from similar problem: it’s big, it has catchy names and that’s it. It feels empty and most of its characters are either stereotyped or completely idiotic. Sometimes dialogues end with the same phrase they started, which often doesn’t make sense and highlights the low effort put into the writing of the game.
Quests sometimes try to create interesting stories, just for ruining them when you complete them. I’ll just make the same example that Maxmetpt did in its review, but it’s a perfect sample of how not to write a series of quests: you arrive at a village, which is cursed and, for this, it’s always raining. Its inhabitants are tired of the constant bad weather and ask you to kindly find a way to remove the curse. Once you do it, they remember that they asked for the curse in the first place because… they hate the sun, so you have to find a way to curse them. Again. While a single quest with a similar story (and better writing) would’ve been great and kind of funny in an RPG, in Vampire’s Fall there are many quests just like this one, where your contribution is just meaningless. When quests aren’t meaningless, they are so basic that they remind me of the time I spent playing MMOs like Metin2 and NosTale: the very first quests I picked up in the first village in which I arrived where: “kill 3 wolves”, “kill the three deserter sergeants” and “find the blue rat”. Showing off our writing abilities, aren’t we?
We Don’t Need a Port, We Need a Gate
So, is Vampire’s Fall any better on the Nintendo Switch? No. If anything, it’s gotten worse. The Nintendo Switch port has so many problems that I don’t even know where to start: first of all, controls are a little wonky and navigating some menus (or, initially, getting into them) is quite problematic. Once you manage to understand how they work, you still have to deal with the terrible implementation of the joycons’ rumble: it’s tied to some actions of the character (like attacking or getting hit) or some world events (like a battle start), but the problem is that the rumble itself has a high intensity for a very short duration, which adds nothing to the game and seems like my mobile phone when I get a message. Oh, and you can’t disable it, obviously.
The biggest problem of all, though, is the constant lag and freezes that take place outside combat. You are moving in a forest and, just like that, the game freezes for one second, only to recover and do the same thing 10 seconds later. This happens both in handheld and docked mode, which makes me think more of a game’s problem rather than a lack of computational power. When freezes don’t take over the experience, a rather unstable framerate is always there to ruin it. Again, it happens in both of the Nintendo Switch modes, but this time it’s even worse in docked as, at least for me, playing at low fps on a big screen made my head hurt.
Vampire’s Fall: Origins for PC was a game with a lot of problems. Now, the Nintendo Switch version is the same game, with nothing added, besides even more problems. Even if you’ve played all the different RPGs the Switch has to offer, you should pick this one up only on a discount, and only if you are ready for it. I know it’s only 9.99€, but there is so much better stuff you can buy out there with the same money, that this game it’s not even worth its very low price point.